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Brewers-Cards exclusively on Facebook today

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

ST. LOUIS -- The rekindled rivalry between the Cardinals and Brewers should continue all season, with many expecting the two young, dynamic clubs to contend in the National League Central, which could be baseball's most competitive division. Now fans will be able to experience the next chapter in a new way.

Fans in the United States wanting to catch today's 1:15 p.m. ET matinee can do so exclusively on Facebook Watch, a video platform that launched last August. Already the sixth head-to-head matchup between the clubs, the game will mark MLB's second digital-only national regular-season broadcast, after the Phillies and Mets debuted in the format last week.

ST. LOUIS -- The rekindled rivalry between the Cardinals and Brewers should continue all season, with many expecting the two young, dynamic clubs to contend in the National League Central, which could be baseball's most competitive division. Now fans will be able to experience the next chapter in a new way.

Fans in the United States wanting to catch today's 1:15 p.m. ET matinee can do so exclusively on Facebook Watch, a video platform that launched last August. Already the sixth head-to-head matchup between the clubs, the game will mark MLB's second digital-only national regular-season broadcast, after the Phillies and Mets debuted in the format last week.

MLB Network will produce the game, with play-by-play man Scott Braun, analysts Dan Plesac and Joe Magrane, and in-game reporter Hanna Yates on the call. The crew will take a social-first approach in its commercial-free broadcast, which won't be aired on local TV networks.

FAQ: How to watch games on Facebook

That makes Facebook Watch's MLB live page the only place to watch Adam Wainwright return to the Busch Stadium mound, looking to rebound after a shaky season debut. Fans can watch Wainwright oppose recently recalled righty Junior Guerra from an array of devices that will host the telecast, including their phones, tablets, smart TVs and other streaming devices.

Video: Tune in on Wednesday at 1pm on MLB Facebook Watch

Once logged on, viewers are encouraged to interact with Plesac, who pitched for the Brewers from 1986-92, and Magrane, who began his playing career with six seasons in St. Louis. Interviews and interactive segments will take the place of ads between innings.

More than a million fans interacted with last week's initial broadcast, the first of 25 scheduled for the 2018 season. Facebook and MLB first partnered last May to live stream simulcasts of local television broadcasts. Wednesday's telecast represents the further evolution of that idea, and it makes Facebook the only place to watch what should be another important division contest.

How to watch on mobile and desktop
1. Search for "MLB Live" on Facebook
2. Follow the "MLB Live" show page

How to watch
1. Download the Facebook video app on your TV or streaming device and search for "MLB Live"
2. Or stream the game from your phone to a TV on the same WiFi network by tapping the TV icon.

Upcoming Facebook games (all times ET)
• Wednesday, April 11: MIL-STL, 1:15 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 18: KC-TOR, 4:07 p.m.
• Thursday, April 26: ARI-PHI, 1:05 p.m.
• Thursday, May 3: LAD-ARI, 3:40 p.m.
• Thursday, May 10: SF-PHI, 1:05 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 16: TEX-SEA, 3:40 p.m.
• Thursday, May 24: LAA-TOR, 12:37 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 30: STL-MIL, 1:10 p.m.

What to know about the Brewers-Cardinals game
The Brewers finished three games ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central last season, a difference that could be directly tied to their head-to-head play. Milwaukee won three more games than St. Louis did when the two teams -- which both fell just shy of the postseason -- squared off.

All of which has made their many initial meetings early this season so important. Nineteen of the Cards' first 28 games come against interdivisional opponents, including six against the Brewers. Wednesday's finale marks the end of the second three-game set between the clubs over the season's first two weeks.

The Cardinals won two of three at Miller Park last week, before the Brewers evened the season series with a 10-inning win at Busch Stadium on Monday, besting new St. Louis closer Greg Holland to do so.

Holland walked four of five hitters he faced in his Cards debut, and he took the loss after walking Orlando Arcia in with the winning run. It was an inauspicious beginning in St. Louis for Holland, who the club pursued in the offseason before finally inking him to a one-year deal on Opening Day. The three-time All-Star's arrival was meant to answer late-inning questions that surrounded the club all spring.

The Brewers' bullpen mix is in flux as well, after All-Star closer Corey Knebel suffered a severe hamstring injury last week. Replacement closer Matt Albers blew his first save opportunity Monday night, after Josh Hader and Jacob Barnes held Cardinals' bats quiet.

On Tuesday, St. Louis rallied off Taylor Williams and Barnes in the ninth, then against J.J. Hoover -- who came on for the save in the 10th -- in both the 10th and 11th innings. Matt Carpenter ended the affair with a walk-off homer in the 11th.

The Brewers reshuffled their bullpen Wednesday morning, recalling righty Jorge Lopez and designating Hoover for assignment. The club also optioned outfielder Brett Phillips to Triple-A, hinting Lorenzo Cain's foot injury won't require a DL stint. The Brewers' No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Phillips had been summoned to replace the injured Christian Yelich, who is nursing an oblique strain.

If any team could weather injuries to its outfield, it's the Brewers. Even without Yelich, the Crew will trot out an alignment of at least Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana in the lineup that opposes Wainwright, who is looking for his first win.

The veteran hurler recovered from the hamstring injury that delayed his season debut, but Wainwright struggled with command and velocity issues in the Cards' home opener Thursday. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on four hits and four walks in the 3-1 loss to the D-backs. Wainwright, 36, is in the final year of a five-year, $97.5 million contract.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals